Juventus and Real Madrid go head to head in Cardiff on June 3 in European football's showpiece final

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For the latest Champions League Final odds, visit BetStars.

Cardiff’s majestic National Stadium of Wales is the venue for the climax to the European club season as Real Madrid and Juventus go head to head in a re-run of the 1998 Champions League Final.

In 1998, Madrid won their seventh European Cup, ending a 31-year wait for another European title, with a Predrag Mijatovic goal settling a tense encounter at the Amsterdam Arena. Back then, Juventus, with the world’s best player Zinedine Zidane at the heart of their midfield, were the continent’s leading club, having won the title in 1996, the first of three successive Finals they reached in the late 1990s.

Since then, of course, Madrid have strengthened their record as Europe’s most successful club, winning four further European crowns, including the 2002 Final thanks to Zidane’s astonishing, gravity-defying volley against Bayer Leverkusen in Glasgow.

Now, having won their 11th title last year, beating city rivals Atletico on penalties in Milan, Madrid are bidding to become the first side to retain the European Cup since Milan in 1990.

They face a Juve side managed with panache by Maximiliano Allegri. The Italians have dominated their domestic league for the past six seasons but have not added to their European trophy haul since the win over Ajax in 1996.

They can, however, argue that history is on their side: a team from Serie A has won the Champions League every seven years since 1989: Juventus in 1996, Milan in 2003 and Internazionale in 2010.

There is little doubt that both teams deserve to be in the 2017 Final.

Real overcame Bayern Munich in a thrilling quarter-final, as well as Atletico, their opponents in the 2014 and 2016 Finals, in the semis. Juventus proved too strong for quarter-final opponents Barcelona and the most exciting team of this season’s competition, Monaco.

While on paper it may appear the Final will play out as Madrid’s galactico attack – Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale – against the Italian side’s mean defence of Leonardo Bonucci, Andrea Barzagli and Giorgio Chiellini, playing in front of veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.

But there is more to both teams than meets the eye. Under Allegri, Juventus have developed an attacking verve, which is perhaps not surprising given their Argentinian forwards Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala, Brazilian full-backs Dani Alves and Alex Sandro, Bosnian playmaker Miralem Pjanic and Colombian winger Juan Cuadrado.

Meanwhile, Zidane’s Madrid showed guts to dig deep to get past Atletico when it seemed that their neighbours were about to stage a spirited comeback in the final European game played at their Vicente Calderon stadium.

Juve have only been behind in one match of this season’s Champions League campaign – when Sevilla took an early lead in the final group game before the Italians replied with a first-half injury-time penalty and two late second-half goals from Bonucci and Mario Mandzukic.

Allegri has often made tactical changes during matches – the semi-final first leg against Monaco saw Juventus start in a 3-4-2-1, switch to mirror Monaco’s 4-4-2 set-up after half an hour, then return to a back three for the last few minutes of the game, when the tough-tackling Venezuelan Tomas Rincon replaced Higuain.

In contrast to Allegri, Zidane has made his tactical changes between matches, resting key players in Liga encounters with lesser sides, and deploying his high-quality back-ups – the likes of Alvaro Morata, James Rodriguez and Marco Asensio – to great effect.

Bale is Madrid’s main injury concern ahead of the Final, which is being staged in his hometown. He is a favourite of Madrid president Florentino Perez, and Zidane may feel the pressure to ignore the advice of the physio team treating the calf injury that kept the Welshman out of the semi-final matches against Atletico.

In those games, an extra midfielder, in the shape of Isco, provided more solidity in Madrid’s midfield and Zidane may prefer that security as his side bid for a third European title in four years.

For the latest Champions League Final odds, visit BetStars.